The Performing Arts Precinct is the city's outlet for creative performance, offering first-rate facilities for music, drama, dance and other performing arts.
One of the anchor projects in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, the Performing Arts Precinct is being built in the block bounded by Armagh, Gloucester, Colombo and New Regent streets.
Construction began in May 2023. Read more on Newsline.(external link)
The Performing Arts Precinct currently includes the Isaac Theatre Royal and The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts.
The Council is working in partnership with The Court Theatre to build the theatre’s new central city home in the precinct.
It's expected the new Court Theatre will open in 2024.
The concept design(external link) for the new Court Theatre was released in November 2020 (see images below).
The preliminary design for the new Court Theatre was released in May 2021 (see images below).
On 15 March 2022, councillors rejected a proposed land sale that would have furthered the development of a public car park building in Christchurch’s Performing Arts Precinct, after strong feedback from the community.
Instead, with a nearby parking development planned by the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch and strong public opposition to the sale, Councillors voted to retain the land so that the Council can explore other uses for it in the future. Read more on Newsline.(external link)
On Wednesday 11 August 2021, the Council released an expression of interest to see who might be interested in developing the land at 128-138 Armagh Street. The Council has yet to make a decision about how this land will be used in the future.
The expression of interest closed on 15 September 2021. Potential developers will have the option of buying or leasing the land.
Read more on Newsline(external link).
A collective vision
The Council and the former Central Christchurch Development Unit jointly managed the development of the Performing Arts Precinct site before the disestablishment of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
They worked with a stakeholder group to develop a shared vision of what the Performing Arts Precinct could be.
Rebuilding the Central City with the Performing Arts: The vision for the Performing Arts Precinct [PDF, 2.1 MB] describes the shared vision and aims to provide a picture in people's minds as to what the Precinct could be.
It picks up on themes from the Share an Idea campaign around activation, vibrancy, diversity, mixed uses, collaboration, and access for all.